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    Old 03-26-2005, 02:33 PM   #1
    kaykay5
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    chronic insomnia please help

    I have had this problem for 3 weeks now. If I dose off I immediately jerk back awake. I take Ambien and Xanax right before bed and this will give me approximately 3 hrs. of sleep is all. Then the rest of the night I lay there dosing off and then jerking back awake. It is so frustrating to look at the clock every half hour. What is wrong with my body? Could the adrenal glands be out of control? I also have been taking 25mg of Zoloft for 10 days for anxiety. How long can I continue to take Ambien--- that is the only way I am getting any sleep at all. Is there something better?
    Thank you for any help.

     
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    Old 03-26-2005, 04:08 PM   #2
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    Cool Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kaykay5
    I have had this problem for 3 weeks now. If I dose off I immediately jerk back awake. I take Ambien and Xanax right before bed and this will give me approximately 3 hrs. of sleep is all. Then the rest of the night I lay there dosing off and then jerking back awake. It is so frustrating to look at the clock every half hour. What is wrong with my body? Could the adrenal glands be out of control? I also have been taking 25mg of Zoloft for 10 days for anxiety. How long can I continue to take Ambien--- that is the only way I am getting any sleep at all. Is there something better?
    Thank you for any help.

     
    Old 03-26-2005, 04:11 PM   #3
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    Cool Re: chronic insomnia please help

    I Also Have Trouble Staying Asleep. I Take Lexapro And Ativan. Sometimes I Am Awake All Night. I Have Tried Ambien Also But Get Up And Stumble Around - Not Safe For Me. I Was Wondering If I Am Lacking A Vitamin. Wish I Could Help You More - But I Have No Answer - Hope You Will Get Some Answer From Your Doctor.

     
    Old 03-27-2005, 02:12 PM   #4
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kaykay5
    I have had this problem for 3 weeks now. If I dose off I immediately jerk back awake. I take Ambien and Xanax right before bed and this will give me approximately 3 hrs. of sleep is all. Then the rest of the night I lay there dosing off and then jerking back awake. It is so frustrating to look at the clock every half hour. What is wrong with my body? Could the adrenal glands be out of control? I also have been taking 25mg of Zoloft for 10 days for anxiety. How long can I continue to take Ambien--- that is the only way I am getting any sleep at all. Is there something better?
    Thank you for any help.
    What can I say about this other than it seems the fact that Zoloft and other SSRi's can cause insomnia seems to be generally ignored by the medical community. It worsens pre-existing insomnia, or the side effect of insomnia can be culmative when taking SSRi's, showing up after many years of being on the drug.

    Ambien and Xanax are also the type of drugs that can worsen insomnia over time due to dependacy, tolerance and withdrawals. Withdrawals (rebound insomnia and over-excitation of brain) can happen even while taking the drug, due to tolerance of effects.

    Take it from someone who's been there; I was lucky to get 4 hours tops on ATivan. Some nights I got zero sleep on it. Had tolerance big time...so, decided enough already; got off it by tapering down and waited patiently (not easy!) for several years before getting back to somewhat normal sleep, pill-free!

    I just happened to get benzo protracted withdrawal syndrome, which doesn't happen to everyone who takes benzos. That's why it took so long. Most may only have to wait a few months or a year.

    But at any rate, for me, It was all totally worth it. All those sleepless nights off pills led to sleeping again like a human being without so much as a cup of tea or a benedryl. ..nothing needed now!

    Sleep is best natural; the human brain can figure out how to do it again don't worry.

    I just have to say, to anyone with insomnia that Zoloft or any other SSRi is not helping the matter, in fact, is most likely contributing to it.

    Any of these pills must be slowly tapered off of, however, it can be dangerous to abruptly discontinue them.

    Last edited by Jennita; 03-27-2005 at 02:13 PM.

     
    Old 03-28-2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    It's quite possible that the Zoloft is aggravating your insomnia. It is also possible that the Ambien/Xanax are causing you to snore which wakes you up. There could even be some sleep apnea going on - your body is making you jerk awake so that you take a good breath.

    Be sure you avoid caffiene and, especially, alcohol!

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 12:04 AM   #6
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by index.html
    It's quite possible that the Zoloft is aggravating your insomnia. It is also possible that the Ambien/Xanax are causing you to snore which wakes you up. There could even be some sleep apnea going on - your body is making you jerk awake so that you take a good breath.

    Be sure you avoid caffiene and, especially, alcohol!
    Yes, I agree. I'm pretty sure I've read that alcohol and other depressants can cause or aggriavate sleep apnea.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 07:39 AM   #7
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    I do not drink alcohol of caffiene so I know that is not a problem. I am not snoring before I jerk awake, I just barely drift off and as my brain realizes it's falling asleep for some reason it jerks me awake
    Docotr switched me from Ambien to Halcion last night. and I only got 2 hrs. sleep all ngiht long. Feeling lousy.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 08:26 AM   #8
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    From what you've said, the problem started before the Zoloft. Were you on any medications when they problem started?

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 10:01 AM   #9
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Hi KayKay5,
    I've been on Xanax (.5mg) since February to help me sleep. It was two months ago that I had Sudden Hearing Loss which caused massive anxiety and panic attacks day and night. If you care to read the whole story, I just listed it under this catagory (see: "CAN'T STAY ASLEEP, AM I ADDICTED TO XANAX?"). It's been getting worse for me with the jerking up every two or three hours, sometimes I only get an hour and a half before I wake up. I was becoming really scared that even though I've only been on a relatively small dose and for not that long, that I'm going to become addicted to it.
    Sometimes I would break the pill in half and try sleeping on only (.25mg). Those nights It would take sometimes over an hour for me to start getting drowsy and if I fell asleep, I'd be up with even a shorter time span of sleep. Then I went up to 3/4 of my prescribed (.5mg). That seemed to work about as good as the full tablet but still only getting two or three hours of sleep at at time has been frustrating and stressful!! After I wake up the first or second time, I have to take another quarter of a pill to help me fall back to sleep. I've been suplementing this with "Valerian" root extract tablets, but my Anxiety is SO HIGH that I don't think they do much.
    My doctor told me not to cut back on the doesage, and even take a little more if I'm having trouble staying asleep. I have'nt been because everything I've read confirms that no matter how much you take,, Xanax only will work for three or four hours. I don't take anything during the day because I'm afraid I'll start getting addicted to a regime of drugs!! So,, I suffer from the moment I wake up till I go to sleep with loads of Anxiety attacks and depression!
    This last Sunday night, for some unknown reason, was a "rare to nonexistant" moment (in the past two months) where I did'nt feel the High Anxiety I get right before the time I go to bed (anywhere between 1:00am and 2:30am). So I decided to go to bed without the Xanax, since I felt calm enough to do it. I did take a couple "Valerian" just to give me a little aid. Well, after laying down I did'nt have any anxiousness, or concern about doing it without my normal pill. I laid there for over an hour (still calm) and finally felt my eyes starting to close. At that moment my body "Jerked" me up and I snapped out of the sleepiness! That happened a couple more times within about fifteen minutes or so. Finally, I fell asleep. However, my body jerked me awake and according to the clock I only slept for about 45 minutes.
    That's when all the anxiety came into play. I had to take a Full Xanax in order to calm down and get back to sleep! I was in a really high anxiety and depressed state after waking up from the pill three and a half hours later, fearing that my body is now dependant on the Xanax to sleep! I did'nt feel I needed it (for that one night) so I don't think I have a mental dependancy on it. However, my body kept jerking me awake when I did'nt take it, so does this mean I've already grown a "physical" dependancy on it? And if so,, I'm wondering how to start getting off it before I get more dependant. I still have alot of the symptoms from my hearing loss which cause me great anxiety and distress. Prior to this hearing disorder, there have been alot of things in my life for the past several years which only caused the hearing problem to set me over the edge. However, prior to the ear thing, even with All my other problems, I did'nt have this anxiety, did'nt have any problems going to sleep or STAYING asleep without ANY medication and now I'm worried about how to get off it and get my life back!!
    I hope you're able to get your normal sleep pattern back again and I hope what ever the underlying cause of you insomnia is, gets better SOON!! You have my best thoughts with you!

    MMS1

    Last edited by MMS1; 03-29-2005 at 10:07 AM.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 02:41 PM   #10
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Index
    I was on Lexapro for one month and a beta blocker(Torpil XL for 1 week) when the insomina began. The doctor had me quit both of those meds but put me on Zoloft, Xanax and Ambien. So, if it was the Lexapro that was the culprit then I should not be on Zoloft apparently.
    I am so discouraged from complete lack of sleep (can't function on 3 hrs. a night). He switched me to Halcion last night and that was worse-- only got 2 hrs.

    MMS1
    Sorry to hear of your problems. I replied to your other post before I saw this one. Good luck to you, may we both have a good night of natural sleep!

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 11:44 PM   #11
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Well, if the problem started while on antidepressants and it were me, I'd be tempted to stop the AD's (at least temporarily) to see if I could sleep better without them.

     
    Old 04-01-2005, 12:30 AM   #12
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    [QUOTE=Jennita]I just happened to get benzo protracted withdrawal syndrome, which doesn't happen to everyone who takes benzos. That's why it took so long. Most may only have to wait a few months or a year.


    I've never heard of "benzo protracted withdrawal syndrome". Could you say a little more about it, please? I've had a host of anxiety and sleep problems since getting off Xanax in 1986. I've also apparently exacerbated the problems by trying to fight them with anti-depressants for several years since 1986. Finally gave up on all the pills. Still struggling with severe insomnia, but I've recently become convinced that I've been lying to myself for the past several years about how much coffee I drink and how many cigarettes I smoke. I've found that quitting caffiene is alot tougher than I thought it would be. I've only been able to go about 2 days without it, then I give in to "one cup" of coffee in the morning. But I find myself unable to stop with that one cup, and I'm right back in the addiction. I'm having as much trouble giving up caffiene as cigarettes.

     
    Old 04-02-2005, 12:28 AM   #13
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Not sleeping is the story of my life. I am 21 and have had sleeping problems since I was 16. When you take medication you eventually become immune to it and it wont work. If you are in desperate need of a good nite sleep I would try another xanax just to help. This is an increasing problem that I have to deal with. Try to end each nite on a good and peaceful note. I try a cup of tea, a book sometimes a good movie and a cocktail and just peaceful thoughts the stress can come back to you in the morning. Good luck

     
    Old 04-06-2005, 11:44 AM   #14
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    [QUOTE=ardor]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jennita
    I just happened to get benzo protracted withdrawal syndrome, which doesn't happen to everyone who takes benzos. That's why it took so long. Most may only have to wait a few months or a year.


    I've never heard of "benzo protracted withdrawal syndrome". Could you say a little more about it, please? I've had a host of anxiety and sleep problems since getting off Xanax in 1986. I've also apparently exacerbated the problems by trying to fight them with anti-depressants for several years since 1986. Finally gave up on all the pills. Still struggling with severe insomnia, but I've recently become convinced that I've been lying to myself for the past several years about how much coffee I drink and how many cigarettes I smoke. I've found that quitting caffiene is alot tougher than I thought it would be. I've only been able to go about 2 days without it, then I give in to "one cup" of coffee in the morning. But I find myself unable to stop with that one cup, and I'm right back in the addiction. I'm having as much trouble giving up caffiene as cigarettes.
    I've been away for awhile, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. There is a free online manual called The Ashton Manual which mentions protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. I prefer to call it benzodiazepine recovery syndrome, because although withdrawal symptoms persist during this, every doctor will tell you withdrawal lasts only a few weeks. Why? Because I looked up the definition of withdrawal and found it to be technically when the medication is in the process of "leaving" the body. Once it's gone, withdrawal itself, technically, is over.

    But the fact is withdrawal symptoms do persist after withdrawal because the brain has not yet been able to recover proper function since it got used to constant daily chemicals taking over it's functions. The brain got lazy, it did not have to produce chemicals, so it basically quits doing so, but at the same time it tries to defend itself by setting up opposing receptors (tolerance) to the medication which has invaded it. The brain is an organ that strives for homostatis.

    So sometimes after withdrawal the brain isn't exactly balanced in receptors and chemicals anymore and has to re-learn how to produce the right amounts of chemicals again. If opposing receptors have been formed, it sometimes can take quite awhile for downregulation of these. The Ashton Manual has alot of info on this. It is basically unheard of here because Prof. Ashton is from the UK and most doctors here do not believe what she says, the trend is to only accept what is written here in the US, despite her years of study on benzodiazepines and also she ran a withdrawal clinic in the UK.

    However, it seems her work is slowly being accepted the last few years as the medical community here in the US finally admits benzodiazepines can be addictive and now many doctors are hesitant about prescribing them for too long. For many years after Ashton claimed this it wasn't believed here in the US.

    If only Ashton had named the syndrome "recovery" instead of withdrawal maybe it would be taken more seriously because really it is a brain recovery process, not technically "withdrawal", or the drug leaving the body.

    In your case, continuing the cycle of brain chemicals may have caused more complications.

    Now, of course, you know if you want to sleep well, the cigarettes and coffee have to go....especially the cigs, they are stimulant; the coffee too or at least cut back to very little...why not decaf?

    Anyway, the manual is free and very informative.

    Last edited by Jennita; 04-06-2005 at 11:46 AM.

     
    Old 04-07-2005, 08:32 AM   #15
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    Re: chronic insomnia please help

    Thanks for the info Jennita. Yeah, the coffee and cigs must go.

    I tried Lunesta for the first time last night. It worked well with no hangover. I had to wait over 90 minutes to fall asleep with it, but once I did fall asleep I stayed peacefully asleep until being awakened by a loud noise. Only got 5 hours sleep because of the disturbance, but I think I would've slept a full 8 hours otherwise. I'm going to continue with it, and recommend it to any that are looking for a good sleep med.

     
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